Thursday, 22 December 2011

Tasked Simply

A little boy came to a bridge rickety
Made of wood, planks and steely bits
54 sens in his palm held tightly
Coins entrusted for purchase for treats

One step on the bridge, the boy started
Not too fast neither too slow the advice accorded
Careful of nails and steels bar, his mother had shouted
Off he walks on slippers thin threaded

A second step, and a third, his pace assured
Working into a rhythm, in his mind a song heard
A Sifu singing, streaming words on a species of a bird
Tanya sama itu Hud Hud, the boy’s soft voice stuttered

What was he to buy, this boy of age so young
Running errands to a shop so far flung
Shirt un-tucked atop black shorts worn low slung
Atop a bridge workers past worked unsung

He remembers now, the boy with hair uncombed
Salt it was, said it out loud with much aplomb
54 sens will get me a packet, he chirped out loud
While the light darkens, the sun hidden behind a cloud

Squinting his eyes, he saw the shop his only stop
Reaching the bridge’s end, from walk he hops
Passing bushes, rotted palms trees and fallen logs
Eager to show his mom he can earn his chop

A pack of salt, please he says
To a man who seems to has seen better days
Thrusting his hand the palm open its content displays
54 sens no more a single coin misplaced

A guffaw as the boy display a shocked face
“Don’t worry son,” the man says with practiced pace
Here’s the packet of salt, and a coin to replace
For the one lost, fell or simply displaced

And on to the rickety bridge the boy went with a grin on his red flushed face

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